Bitcoin’s US dollar value continued plunging Monday, driving the cryptocurrency’s price below the $5,000 mark for the first time in 13 months.
The price of Bitcoin fell as low as $4,754 Monday, marking a 14% drop in a 24-hour period. While it’s not clear what triggered the most recent selloff, some pointed to actions that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission took Friday against two cryptocurrency startups that staged initial coin offerings, or ICOs. Airfox and Paragon Coin agreed to pay civil penalties for running token sales last year without registering them as securities offerings.
In August, most cryptocurrencies entered a period of low volatility, with Bitcoin’s value moving between $6,000 and $7,000 for several months. During this period of relatively stable trading, institutional investors quietly built up positions as individuals who speculated in crypto assets grew less active.
Nearly two weeks ago, the aggregate market value of crypto assets stood around $220 billion. Around that time, the bitcoin community engineered a “hard fork,” or an upgrade to bitcoin’s code, which resulted in a divisive debate over how to manage the cryptocurrency’s future.
As of Monday afternoon, the value of all crytpocurrencies had fallen to $161 billion, a decline of 26% in a little less than two weeks.
Other major cryptocurrencies also saw similar plunges in the past 24 hours, with Ethereum dropping 15.2% and Bitcoin Cash falling 13.1%. Ripple’s XRP currency, however, held up relatively well. XRP had declined 4.5% in the past 24 hours.